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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Microbial Ecology & Metagenomics

Date: Jan 5, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4426 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. Our capabilities span a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace.

The Biosciences Division ( within ORNL seeks a postdoctoral research associate in the area of microbial ecology and metagenomics. You will join international and interdisciplinary teams of investigators passionate about understanding the ecology of soil and plant associated microbial communities as well as their responses to various anthropogenically induced changes (climate, contaminants, land use, etc) in multiple ecosystems. Specifically, you will focus on projects to understand microbial interactions within Populus as part of ORNLs long term bioenergy research center – the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (, as well as applying state of the art metagenomics approaches to investigate the effects of environmental change in boreal peat ecosystems as part of the SPRUCE project (

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Design, conduct, analyze and interpret laboratory and field based research.
  • Perform research utilizing a full range of state-of-the-art equipment/facilities for microbiology, molecular biology, ecosystem ecology, and genomics in a professional environment with excellent technical support.
  • Lead and contribute to the development of scientific manuscripts and presentations describing the results of your studies.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. degree in microbiology, ecology, molecular biology, or related fields within the past 5 years. 


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A successful history of interdisciplinary, integrative, and creative research in the discipline of microbial ecology
  • Familiarity with software tools for DNA sequence analysis of rRNA and metagenomic microbial datasets.
  • The ability to program and script in R, Python or apply other appropriate computational approaches to customize analyses.
  • Demonstrated expertise in both modern molecular ecology methods such as metagenome analyses, quantitative PCR, rRNA community sequence analyses, and ecosystem analyses for characterizing soil nutrient cycling.
  • Demonstrated record of expertise in applying informatics approaches for microbiome and metagenomic studies.
  • Track record of primary contributions to peer-reviewed publications.

Additional Information:

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. Appointments will initially be for 12 months with a possibility of an extension of up to an additional 24 months. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding. 


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville